Russian Farmer’s Cheese aka Tvorog

Next in the series of things Joanna made for holiday parties that are now only marginally seasonally appropriate: Farmer’s Cheese for my friend’s Hannukah party. He wanted to make (along with his latkes) syrniki, which are essentially slightly sweet fried cheese pancakes from Ukraine. But to do it properly, he needed homemade farmer’s cheese and was unfortunately going out of town the weekend before. But never fear, I was willing to try my hand at making cheese from scratch — and only moderately worried that I would kill everyone with rancid cheese.

And it worked! Color me shocked. This is a surprisingly simple recipe (which I got from a blog called Natasha’s Kitchen), though you do need to be willing to be able to devote some time to it every 12 hours for about 3 days. The cheese by itself is very, very mild and doesn’t have that much flavor, but was delicious in the pancakes (which I cannot take credit for — see this recipe if you want to make them). The cheese would also be good spread on toast or in a leafy green salad.

Mushroom Stroganoff

I’m really behind on posting recipes on here — I have 2 or 3 recipes that turned out well and I took photos that are just sitting in my camera waiting for me to get around to uploading them. I’ll hold off on posting some of the older ones and instead post another installment in the “Joanna cooks vegetarian things lawlz” series. Recipes to look forward to include: Thai Red Curry with Shrimp, Peppers, and Broccoli; Open Face Roasted Vegetable and Cheese Sandwiches with avocado garlic mayonnaise; Lentil and Quinoa Vegan “Chili”.

I found the recipe this is based on through one of Buzzfeed’s recipe lists (probably something called 27 Cozy Vegetarian Dishes for Fall… that sounds like something I would read) and it originates from a food blog called “Amuse your Bouche: simple vegetarian recipes.” If you’d like to check out the original recipe, it can be found here


Macaroni and Cheese

This one’s an original recipe. I’ve been trying to find a good mac and cheese recipe for like two years now, not that I’ve been trying very hard.

My mom makes a Velveeta macaroni and cheese that’s pretty good, but the problem with Velveeta macaroni and cheese is that it’s a little gluey and the taste is a little more American cheese than cheese. Don’t get me wrong, I like American cheese, Velveeta, and Kraft macaroni and cheese, but I’ve been trying to find a good recipe for mac and cheese with real cheese.

Stewed Lentils with Tomatoes

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the environmental footprint of eating meat and realizing that I don’t have a vegetarian cooking repertoire. Call me self-centered, but I’m much more moved by the negative impacts of meat eating on humanity than I am by the moral questions of animal cruelty. High-meat eaters contribute about twice as much CO2 each day as vegetarian (according to study). And I’m pretty sure I’m a high meat eater. Plus, you know meat eating is typically less healthy than eating vegetarian.

As such, I’m going to make an effort to cook more all-vegetarian meals, a mission that I am going to document here. I’ll never be totally meat-less. I love meat. But I can try to reduce the amount of meat I take in on a regular basis.

And this mission starts with: stewed lentils with tomatoes (more…)

Moroccan Vegetable Stew

This one comes from The Good Housekeeping Cookbook. It’s got that North African sweet/savory flavor. I served it over couscous as the recipe directs, but I also had some leftovers over rice. If you make the couscous (or rice) with water or vegetable broth, this recipe is vegetarian (vegan even).

Like most stew recipes, this makes a lot of food. I’ve already eaten this for dinner once and lunch twice, and I still have about two lunches worth that I froze. I’m not sure how well it will survive the freeze/thaw process.


Latkes are absolutely culturally appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day

Last Monday, in honor of Ireland’s long and sordid history with potatoes, I made potato latkes. Well, no, actually I had some potatoes that I was worried would go bad if I didn’t use them and was craving fried things. Latkes happened. The following recipe is pretty much completely stolen from Mark Bittman’s first of edition of ‘How to Cook Everything’ and sized down to be a Joanna-sized portion. (more…)